Is the secret to lighter, even-toned skin stored in your spice cupboard? One of the most buzz-worthy skincare therapies these days is turmeric, a bright yellow spice that doesn't just taste great, it even delivers quite a few notable skin benefits — in particular skin lightening.

What Is Turmeric (Curcumin)?

Turmeric (also termed Curcuma Longa) is a plant related to ginger, and is widely used as a spice throughout the world — especially in South Asia. It is recognizable by its vivid golden yellow color. This spice has been in use for in excess of 1800 years in Ayurvedic medicine and as a preventive health supplement. Ayurveda is the holistic platform of medicine that originated in India.

The gold-brown color of turmeric stems from the active constituent curcumin. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory (blocks inflammation), antimicrobial (hinders the spread of microorganisms), antineoplastic (hinders the production of growths that could possibly develop into cancer) and antioxidant (elements that fight against destructive free radicals). So yeah, curcumin is obviously a fine thing!

Curcumin (Turmeric) for Treating Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a often seen condition that will make specific locations of the skin darker than normal. "Hyper" indicates more, and "pigment" denotes tint. Hyperpigmentation may come out as gray, red or brown patches or spots. The sites are sometimes known as age spots, sun spots, or liver spots.

Skin takes its tone from a substance known as melanin, which is a pigment made by skin cells referred to as melanocytes. When these skin cells are unhealthy or impaired, they can potentially manufacture an excess of melanin. This melanin can sometimes clump, leading to that spot to appear to be darker. Therefore a well-known contributing factor of hyperpigmentation is an excess production of melanin.

turmeric for skin lightening

An assortment of studies have highlighted that turmeric has the ability to minimize hyperpigmentation. Specifically it is the curcumin in turmeric that is the crucial element in the studies to hinder the behavior of tyrosinase, an enzyme needed for melanin formation. Gradually, as dark skin cells organically exfoliate, they would be replaced by cells that consist of one's healthy skin tone.

Managing Melasma With Turmeric

Many conditions have the potential to increase the formation of melanin, contributing to hyperpigmentation. Melasma is a very well known cause of hyperpigmentation. Melasma is a skin condition that leads to spots and patches, customarily on the face, that are more dark than ones normal skin color. Although this ailment is entirely harmless, it makes many folks come to feel self-conscious.

Melasma is a skin affliction distinguished by gray or brown patches, most frequently on the nose, forehead, and cheeks. Seeing as ever-changing hormones while pregnant can end up in melasma, it is typically regarded as the "mask of pregnancy."

Melasma is a very prevalent skin issue, particularly involving pregnant women. Anywhere between 20% to 50% of women who are pregnant will get it. Though melasma can also be the outcome of too much exposure to the sun, the more prevalent cause is hormonal variations from birth control or pregnancy, which is to say women are significantly more likely than men to suffer from this skin condition. It commonly develops between 20 and 40 years of age.

The first thing you need to do to treat your melasma is to make sure that it doesn't get any worse. Do this by avoiding the sun, LED screens, and irritating soaps. Should you be exposed to the sun, make sure to pick sunscreen with a SPF of 30 to 40 applied every two hours.

To purposefully combat melasma (or hyperpigmentation of any cause), try a topical skin lightening lotion such as Meladerm from Civant Skincare or a turmeric mask.

civant meladerm dark spots remover

Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that can help lighten skin. Using a 1:2 proportion, mix either water or milk with turmeric powder, and spread the mixture on the darkened areas. Let the application dry completely and then wash it off using lukewarm water. Repeat every day until the discoloration has faded.

turmeric curcumin mask

Apply Turmeric (Curcumin) Topically to Lighten Skin

The positive factors of using curcumin for skin lightening are numerous. Applying curcumin on your face will help lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation, calm skin rashes, brighten skin tone, and treat acne. Although not an instantaneous solution, topically applied turmeric will help with discoloration or hyperpigmentation if practiced over time.

Turmeric Masks Lighten Skin

Shoppers can readily find turmeric--laced skincare remedies to buy, but you can instead very easily and affordably prepare your own do-it-yourself curcumin treatment. A turmeric mask is the most beneficial technique to use turmeric topically.

Turmeric masks all include turmeric powder as their primary ingredient. Getting a good sized bag of turmeric powder is considerably more practical and a great deal less costly (per quantity purchased) than buying turmeric in capsule or tablet form. It is really simple to take a scoop of the powder from the resealable pouch and mix it with a liquid to prepare a paste to spread on the affected parts of the body.

Since it is the curcumin that's the active aspect of the turmeric root, supplements will frequently be labeled as "Curcumin" rather than "Turmeric." A nutritional supplement may even be sold using both names, as in "Turmeric Curcumin." That's the phrasing used by Microingredients on their powder supplement packaging.

microingredients turmeric curcumin powder supplement

To make a turmeric mask all you need to do is mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. You could optionally also mix in one teaspoon of agave syrup or honey. Both agave syrup and honey will help keep skin very soft and moisturized. Lemon juice contains effective skin lightening properties so it lightens your skin tone. It also is helpful to lessen dark spots.

The concoction is then patted onto your face with the help of a cotton ball and left on for no more than 25 minutes. Rinse afterwards with warm water. Apply this kind of mask on a daily basis for ideal results.

Taking Turmeric (Curcumin) Orally to Lighten Skin

As you've read, curcumin powder can be used externally for skin lightening by applying the powder onto your skin by using a mask. Alternately (or additionally), turmeric can be used internally for a similar objective. Taken orally, curcumin can decrease undesirable melanin formation. This means curcumin effects for the lightening of skin will be attained by using the powdered supplement internally or externally.

Drinking Turmeric Tea to Lighten Skin

Turmeric teas are a customary source for ingesting turmeric considering that the taste is subtle and enjoyable, and the health effects are very similar to the ingestion of the whole plant in cooked solid food. The same turmeric powder that you would buy to use to make a turmeric mask is used as the base of your turmeric tea.

Research reveals that the typical curcumin dosage daily is about 500 mg to 2000 mg, although studies using up to 6 grams each day found no serious side effects. Some powdered curcumin nutritional supplements include a small spoon that measures 1000 mg (1 gram), helping to make it very simple to brew a mug of turmeric tea.

For a tea that incorporates a 1000 mg serving of turmeric, simply combine one scoop of turmeric powder to boiling water and then let it steep for about 10 minutes and then strain before drinking. To bump up the flavor, the turmeric can also be paired with more spices including ginger root, cinnamon, and lemongrass.

Though turmeric tea is the most popular means to take oral turmeric, you can incorporate the curcumin powder in essentially any beverage you want. If your inclination is a shake or juice, then simply mix a scoop or two to your currently favored beverage.

microingredients turmeric curcumin supplement label

When you consume curcumin is up to you — the curcumin (turmeric) is not going to work any differently dependent on when you take it. Curcumin is not a stimulant, so if you like to have your drink prior to bed rather than in the morning, that should be just fine.